Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, and Rooney Mara are roaring into the BFI London Film Festival, as the U.K. premiere for their new film, Lion, was announced Wednesday as a special gala presentation set for the event’s 60th edition.
Adapted from Saroo Brierley’s memoir A Long Way Home, Lion tells the true story of a five-year-old Indian boy who, after boarding the wrong train, winds up hundreds of miles from home. After struggling through his early years, the boy is adopted by an Australian couple. Nearly 25 years later, he discovers the technology of Google Earth, and sets out on a quest to locate his long-lost family. Garth Davis directs.
“Lion is, in essence, a story about mothers and sons,” Patel said of the film in a statement. “… it’s a real honour for me to be in London among so many of my colleagues, friends, and family to share this triumphant, immersive and visually breathtaking story.”
Sponsored by American Express, the festival’s annual gala presentation typically hosts premieres of high-profile films breaking their way into the awards race. Last year’s gala presentation included a screening of Todd Haynes Oscar-bound drama Carol, while Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, which ultimately earned five Academy Award nominations, occupied the slot in 2014.
As part of the festival, Lion screens Wednesday, Oct. 12 at London’s Odeon Leicester Square. Patel and Kidman are expected to attend. The Weinstein Company will release Lion to North American theaters on Nov. 25.
The full lineup for the 2016 BFI London Film Festival, which runs Oct. 5-16, will be announced on Thursday, Sept. 1. Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom was previously confirmed to open the festival, while Ben Wheatley’s Brie Larson-starring crime thriller Free Fire will close the event.